THE RESURGENCE OF NATIONALISM IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Mădălina Calance Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract: Considering the process of integration and the enlargement of the European Union, the continent's political map changed significantly during the last decades. For most of the European nations, facing the integration is going on the path of the economic and social improvement, which also involves important aspects about the nation-state (national identity, nationalism). This paper will focus on the meanings and the dimensions of contemporary nationalism and will later look at the impact of the nationalist ideas in the EU, in times of recession. The study found out that there are many perspectives of the EU challenging national economies and the state sovereignty but, at the same time, people are aware the imminence of the European identity in their economic and cultural future. Keywords: nationalism, national identity, European identity, immigration, populist parties JEL Classification: F15, F52, F59
In the European history, the idea of nationalism has very deep roots. The nationalist ideology is a chameleon over time, being adapted to the prerogatives of a certain nation, the theoretical interpretations of a historical period or to specific political circumstances. Certainly, nationalism is one of the major phenomenons of the last two centuries, whose expression is a reflection of multiplying the nation-states from a dozen (mostly in Europe) to thousands. This increase demonstrates the strength of the principle of self-determination, which proclaims the right of people and nations to establish their own course of political, economic, cultural and social development, without outside interventions. Under the aegis of globalization, important economic and political changes are occurring throughout the world, due to the activity of multinational or transnational corporations, interstate economic organizations or supranational organizations (such as the European Union), with a major impact on the sovereignty of the national state, considered to be more powerless in solving global problems such as: monetary policy, security, the regulation of commercial activities, etc. The new shape of world politics is emerging the idea of the state losing sovereignty in favour of higher political entities. There are many aspects of the European Union challenging national sovereignty. This fact is feeding the nationalist and populist criticism and is shaping a resistance phenomenon. Therefore, we can notice an antagonistic relationship between nationalists, focusing on the set of
CES Wo rking Papers, IV, (1), 2012
financial and international migration. by facilitating trade flows. Otherwise. Nationalism was the most successful political force of the XIXth century. The European Union understood this imperative. In varietate concordia).3)
1. This view tends to be anachronistic in the context of a galloping XXI st century globalization. 2012
. the approach of a unified society is paradoxically emphasizing notions as "difference". which reveals the possibility of higher authorities to manage and enforce rules and judgments directly to the national structures. a sociological or psychological perspective. In both. as in United Germany and in North America.” (p. On the other hand. they always feel the need for distinction. as in the cases of Austro. but socially as well.interests and aspirations of a nation and supra nationalism .
THE PAST AND PRESENT OF EUROPEAN NATIONALISM
An Encyclopaedia Britannica * overview submits that nationalism is an ideology based on the premise that the individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation-state surpass other individual or group interests. That struggle. and therefore adopted the motto”Unity in diversity” (lat. was a dominant factor alike in dynastic movements and as an inner motive in the life of masses of population. IV. nationalism is a doctrine that differentiates the individuals in their nationality. sometimes took a disruptive form […] or sometimes it was a unifying or a centralising force. at a global level. enlarging the area of nationality. integration seems to dissipate the political borders of nation-states. Whether individuals are single or organized in communities. (1). making for federal union of diverse nationalities. not only economical.britannica.co m
CES Wo rking Papers. However.Hungary. It is true that the forces making for political union sometimes went further. the new political system created the dilemma of nationstate. Furthermore. [… ] Sometimes nationality was taken as a basis of federation of States. Norway and Sweden. which supports the reinforcement of national identies. the socio-cultural interconnectivity leads to the emergence of nationalist ideas that are either justified or exaggerated. the general tendency was towards welding into large strong national unities the loosely related states and provinces with shifting attachments and alliances that covered large areas. or establishment of political union on a basis of nationality. "identity" or "independence". According to the English economist John A. and the Swiss Federation. Hobson (2005) during the nineteenth century ’’ the struggle towards nationalism. Inevitably. The national identity is now facing especially the contact with other national cultures. in external politics.
On the other hand. xenophobia. authoritarianism. or populism” (p. seeking to redefine the principles of states and the national identity against the supranational institutions. to please the people of Europe. the economic recession proves once again that the emergence of nationalism is a condition. ideas. the European Court of Human Rights or the Commission) impose standards on states. from the academic or the political field. so the EU institutions (the European Court of Justice. Cas Mudde (2004 a) studies the issue of populist parties and defines them as „political parties that share an ideology which combine features as: nationalism. Supranational is normative. These parties have managed to legitimize policies by nationalist and protectionist approach. by promoting chauvinism. IV. are putting into question the power of the nation state.4). fed by growing nationalist resentments of citizens or immigrants. 2012
. The same author claims that” nationalism entails a polit ical doctrine arguing the convergence of state (the political unit) and nation (the cultural unit). Many voices.In middle of the XXth century the European nationalism loses its original meaning becoming more aggressive. authoritarianism denotes a strict belief in law and order (yet not necessarily an antidemocratic attitude).
CES Wo rking Papers. With the European Union. (1). and which argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale (general will) of the people” (Mudde 2004 b. According to Riva Kastoryano (2010). This creates a reaction from the far-right parties. In times of austerity. The supra. the nationalism being transformed in empathy for the national working class and xenophobia for the capitalist side. the nationalist ideas and the future of national economies. the collapse of communism and the European Union enlargement were succeeded by the removal of anti-democratic aspects. habits). and populism refers to an ideology that considers society ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic ’pure people’ versus ’the corrupt elite’. racism and xenophobia. as well. nationalism is a major challenge for the EU by raising the issue of minorities. 543).national character of the Union requires that all member states should surrender a part of their sovereignty by correlating the legislation and applying the directives of the European institutions. especially in countries with dictatorial (fascist) regime. the far-right parties are rising in Europe. identity and diversity and questioning the Union’s capacity to lead the states beyond their features. the national boundaries are redrawn. p. xenophobia refers to the fear of anything alien (including people. At the end of the century. The Second World War ends with the communist regimes takeover.
the approaches of national identity are configured on cultural. Czech Republic.htm Research aria: A lbania. IV. A zerbaijan. in terms of both territory and of resources and skills” (p. historical or ethnic references. Malta. Republic of Montenegro. France. Regarding the relations between the Union and the Member States. Great Britain.). Turkey. (1). Belgiu m. The nation may also be seen as the basic unit of moral economy. gender. Northern Cyprus.2. For Smith. 144). Germany (East/West).
CES Wo rking Papers. Northern Ireland. religion. The Netherlands. and ultimately in the world as a whole. Georg ia. Republic of Macedonia. Anthony Smith (1991) sees national identity as the most fundamental and inclusive of all collective identities (class. Den mark. Otherwise. because of their omnipresence and universality. Armen ia. Serbia. Sweden. Lu xembourg. by commanding the basic political allegiance of citizens. the nation-states and the national identity are fundamental dimensions of the modern world. Austria. Norway. of the validity of a system of states in each region and continent. Poland. the European Constitutional Treaty brings the obligation to respect the national identities and the fundamental political and constitutional structures of the Member States * . institutions and ceremonies. the generally accepted boundary within which intercourse normally takes place and the limit for distinguishing the ’outsider’. Slovenia.
http://europa. Ro mania.eu/scadplus/constitution/objectives_en. many people believed that EU was an organism able to protect national identity. Estonia. Ireland. Bosnia -Herzegovina. 2012
.national legitimacy’. Croatia. have become the only recognized source of ‘inter. Republic of Moldova. ethnic or historical backgrounds. statistics show that the feelings of belonging to EU are tending to be very similar in nature to the way citizens are proud of their nationality. ”the nation and the national identity. Fin land. Hungary. Cyprus.
NATIONAL AND EUROPEAN IDENTITY
The meaning of national identity is based on the concept of nation-state (as its founding principle) that relies on cultural.
2. values and memories. national identity is revealed in a whole range of assumptions and myths.” (p. as well as in language. 144) . Lithuania. Kosovo. Slovak Republic. law. He claims that ”in the cultural sphere. Also. Swit zerland.1
Protecting national identity
On a late 90’s survey† initiated by The European Values Study questioning the opinion on the European Union. Belarus. Russia. Bulgaria. Latvia. Iceland. Socially. etc. Ukraine. the national bond provides the most inclusive community. Therefore. Greece. race. Smith (1991) speaks about national identity in political terms as determining the co mposition of the regime ’s personnel and legitimating the policy goals and administrative practices for every citizen. Portugal. Spain. Italy.
If ten years before some people may have had fears about the consequences of the European Union openness.
CES Wo rking Papers. Few people were thinking that unifying the European states would mean the end of their national.gesis. As we can see in Figure 1. only a truly united Europe could protect its states national. Their national economic interests would also be sacrificed. (1). the percentage of people who answered they were ” very much afraid” of loosing national culture or identity almost equals the percentage of negative answers. IV. in times of recession. of people saying they are ”not afraid of all” (17%). 2012
.For them. the fear of loosing national identity was more intense.org/)
In 2008. there is a greater percentage of the answers favouring the idea of European Union as protective for the national identity (about 75 %):
Figure 1 – Opinion on European Union: National Identity (1990-1999)
Source: Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (http://zacat. the unemployment or the immigration. historical and cultural identities. As we can see in Figure 2. the frequency of sceptical views has increased considerably. historical and cultural identities and their national economic interests from the challenges of the superpowers. due to important factors such as the global crisis.
because the mobility of individuals comes with the external migration phenomenon. The European nationalism of the XIXth century was an unifying force which brought together people of diverse backgrounds at the price of subordinating their ethnic identities to the larger territorial unit dominated by the secular state (Pamir.2
Immigration affects the national economic system and always represented an important social problem. Today. At the same time we are facing a negative phenomenon. With the dissipation of borders induced by increased international collaboration and the influx of labor force in the European market. with the EU consolidation. the state and the ethnic identities operate and interact in a larger. (1). In response to xenophobia of the host population the immigrants could preserve their national identity and
CES Wo rking Papers. IV. Furthermore. common space.gesis. 2012
. the international migration flows can be considered by the host population as a threat to the national identity and can cause nationalist reactions of rejection.Figure 2 – Fear of loosing national identity (2008)
Source: Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (http://zacat. 2005).org/)
2. it offers the opportunity for business to expand and for millions of people to have better jobs. higher incomes or just a better lifestyle.
A similar percentage sees the future of society affected by the proportion of immigrants. and only few disagree with this assumptions. (1). penetration and mixture of individuals from different cultura l backgrounds other than the reference country are leading to the development of multicultural communities. we are witnessing an increasing diversity inside the national space. In Europe.g. the Hungarians in Transylvania). Therefore.
CES Wo rking Papers. the evolution of multicultural states is a major threat to nationalist ideology. as well. and migration continues to erode faith in the nation-state.
Figure 3 – EU citizens opinion on immigrants taking their jobs
Source: Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (http://zacat. there is a rare situation when a state administers a homogeneous community. IV. many people are considering that immigrants take jobs away from natives in a country and will become a threat to society.gesis. 2012
. as a result of integration. Instead of a uniform European society. even within nation-states. being a challenge for cultural heritage of nations. Thus.maintain strong links with the original community. In fact.org/)
About 40% of respondents asked in the survey belived that immigrants are causing damages on the national labor market. nationalism finds expression inside the communities living within nationstates and aspires to autonomy or their own state constitution (e. As we can see in the below charts (figures 3 and 4).
the instability. the dependence on powerful supranational bodies are often causing discontents and emerging nationalist ideas. or immigration.gesis. They represent the voice of citizens.immigrant parties in Europe. Moreover.Figure 4 – EU citizens opinion on immigrants representing a social threat
Source: Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (http://zacat. In Finland.3
The nationalist parties
The political and economic history of Europe shows us that the economic recession leads to the emergence of nationalism and enhances the credibility of nationalist governments. challenging the economy and the common currency. The France National Front (FN). which are anti-Islamist. exceeding 10 % (figure 5). the negative ”domino” effects of globalization.org/)
2. BBC News Europe also indicates a resurgence of nationalism in Europe by recording the electoral results for some of the most successful nationalist/ anti. Italy. We have the example of the ’29. the job losses. Europhobic parties are challenging the European democracy. The current global recession hit hard the Euro Zone. IV. which are disrupted by the globalization. Austria. The Dutch Freedom Party and the Danish People's Party. the inequality and poverty in developing countries. Sweden.’33 crisis that paved the way for Hitler or Mussolini’s nationalist governments. Denmark. xenophobic. (1). Hungary. True Finns party. 2012
. the Netherlands. that are expressed mostly through the voice of nationalist or populist parties. which is eurosceptic
CES Wo rking Papers. France or Belgium the rise of populist. in Finland.
in the past 3 years. and that their national identities should be protected.. Bulgaria is fighting
The world's leading private intelligence firm (www. they all have great political influence by achieving trust and votes from the electorate.co m
According to a STRATFOR * (2011) study. which would grant Hungarian citizenship to ethnic Hungarians outside its borders and Romanians.co m)
CES Wo rking Papers. seeking to complete the Romanian territory. that the European integration process should be reverted.starfor. 2012
. (1).and a strong opponent of the immigration.stratfor. the ongoing economic crisis ”has corroborated much of that which they advocate: those immigration policies should be reformed. etc.” In central Europe. such as Hungary. in the minds of many nationalist parties in Europe.
Figure 5 – Average votes for nationalist parties in the last 3 general elections
Source: www. IV. offensive or defensive nationalism are a source of tension between neighbor states.
New York: Cosimo Inc. as well. intolerance. C. Of course.britannica. acessed on February 2012 at: http://zacat.gesis.d) Nationalism .3. Mudde.4-27. the European model of society can defend itself and protect the national identity.
CES Wo rking Papers.com/EBchecked/topic/405644/nationalism. (n. CERC Working Paper. providing tensions. far from defining the territorial boundaries of states. and rejection of the other.co. In addition. pp. Europe encountered the resurgence of nationalism. Once again.org/. Hobson. This is why the European democracy is often helpless in front of the simplistic populist thinking. The fact that EU states shared their sovereignty is a source of ambiguity. Only by assuming and highly asserting its own values. A degeneration of the situation is a major threat for the already fragile European populations. accessed on February 2012 at: http:/www.
Europe: Nationalist resurgence (2011). Kohn. Islam or multiculturalism for strengthening the borders that define the national identity.against Muslim Turkish and Roma minorities.uk/news/world-europe-13115454. in times of massive immigration and crisis. (1). the acceptance of immigration may be assured by a more active integration policy. 2012
. Each of these problems finds support in the progressive nationalist speeches of the populist parties. H. Great social and economic processes like the integration or the globalization can find a serious opponent in extreme nationalism. Today’s nationalism. Not all these nationalist issues will withdraw in the near future. is expressed by targeting immigration. restoring industrial and trade policies by making them more offensive could abolish criticisms against the economic openness of the EU. Economic and cultural international relations will always be affected by the differences between people. the historical experience of all European nations tells us that its story will never end.J. involving their habits and lifestyles. IV. No. A.
Nationalism is made in Europe. (2005) Imperialism: A Study. (2004 a) Globalization: The multi-faced enemy?. Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences.bbc. available at
http://www. available on BBC News Europe. paradox and nationalist extremes.
2. Ethnicity and Democracy: Contemporary Manifestations . (1997) Nationalism. Kastoryano. accessed on February 2012 at: http://www. www. 2012
. No. accessed on February 2012 at http://europa. Reno. accessed on February 2012 at: http://articles. pp 542-563. no. P.fr/cgibin/ACHATS/acheter. 3.cgi?offre=ARCHIVES&type_item=ART_A RCH_30J&objet_id=1139219. 2. Nevada: University of Nevada Press. (2010) L'Europe face aux nationalismes.html. (2004 b) The Populist Zeitgeist .businessinsider.starfor.gmu. accessed on February 2012 at http://www.com
CES Wo rking Papers.htm. D.lemonde. The International Journal of Peace Studies. The founding principles of the Union. A. post originally appeared at Stratfor.edu/programs/icar/ijps/vol2_2/pamir. Oxford: Government& Opposition. vol. (1). Pamir.com/2011-11-
08/europe/30372377_1_european-union-european.Mudde. The European Crisis Is Feeding Support for Nationalist Political Parties. R. (1991) National Identitity. Smith. C. IV.eu/scadplus/constitution/objectives_en.financial-system-nationalist-parties/2. The official website of the European Union.